Friday, May 23, 2014

Thrift Store Finds and an Armadillo, Part 2

This week has been full of busy stuff. the good kind. School's winding down, and Sara was a shining star in her school's production this evening.  

We're also celebrating her birthday. I wasn't planning a party this year, but then husband Dion said, "Let's do something simple. I'll take care of it."  I'm pretty sure he was aware of the one hundred percent chance that I would somehow be the one to take care of it get involved.

The birthday allowance in our home is 30 dollars.  So my challenge this weekend is to host a fantastically, fun birthday party for 10 kids, while staying within my 30 dollar budget.

But first things first.  There was a part one of Thrift Store Finds and an Armadillo, so a part two must follow.  

And so I now present to you part 2 of "Thrift Store Finds and an Armadillo". (except there's no Armadillo in this part.  He's more of a part one Armadillo.  How ironic is it that his name is Armadillo and yet he has no arms? very. moving on...)

Once upon a many years ago, best friend and nurse Gretchen lovingly passed on a few hand-me-downs which included scrubs.  The first time I slipped that shirt over my head, a love relationship began. 
  (Do you work in a hospital you ask?  Are you a doctor you ask?  no. no again.)

That day forward, scrub tops have been worn for painting, gardening, and other types of project workings. They quickly become dirty and paint splattered, and then I love them all the more.  The two above were 4 dollars each.  They promptly received the most comfy award. In my ideal world scrubs would be worn all the time and everywhere, by everyone. that means you too.

This vintage paper find is perfect for a storybook cottage.  49 cents.
(Is this mouse painting?!)

Not only do I find vintage illustrations on stationary and in children's books uniquely beautiful, but if they truly are of vintage status (and not sold with royalties, for example, from an online source who owns the original print), it's acceptable to copy and do whatever with them. Which makes finding them that much more great.

The mouse and ladybug paper was just in time for Sara's special birthday letter.  Every year I write a letter to her future self, then send it back to our house. This way the date is officially added to it.

The letters will mysteriously remain sealed until some undetermined time, when she'll start getting them ON her birthday.  I hope to give her one each year, maybe starting with her later teenage years. (It's not all figured out.) As each letter is opened, I'm trusting she'll read just what she needs to hear in that moment, for that time in her life.

 And now, my friends, here is a gift for you! 

(Do you love it as much as I do?)

You may copy (cntrl+C+prnt scrn) this image, paste, crop, save it to your computer, and print.

To add text, open the saved image in a photo editing program. This image is somewhat blurry, as is the original. Sometimes vintage illustrations don't translate well into a high quality image.

Use it for recipe cards, invites, a note to a special someone...whatever you can imagine(just please don't sell the actual image, and if sharing online, please link back to here)
This concludes Thrift Store Finds and an Armadillo.  Which was your favorite find?

Valuable doesn't=the highest, priced tag.

And so, if you stop by a thrift store this weekend, or if  yard sale balloons succeed at taunting you with their bouncing colors,  resulting in your discovery of the world's greatest treasure, come back and tell us all about it.  (an account is no longer needed to comment.)

How are you making your today world beautiful?

if you liked this story, will you please share it with a friend? or all of them? do you have many friends? if not would you consider sharing it with a stranger? How about lots of strangers? If you didn't like this story, would you still consider sharing? friends or strangers...either one really.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thrift Store Finds and an Armadillo, Part 1

Finally some time to sit down and share last weeks thrift store finds with you!

This visit was to a new thrift store in our area. very exciting.  Knowing almost 100% of my purchase benefits locals is one reason I enjoy thrift shopping. But mostly I like it, because it's cheap stuff. cheap stuff patiently waiting for me to root through it and conquer the greatest treasure.

the greatest treasure

I will now brag about these fine purchases.
Baskets were 50% off. This one was 2. Anything made with branches belongs in a cottage.  It must be mine.
(ice container underneath was .99)

Basket below was 1, ribbon .99, and the
books were buy one get one, so .99 for both.

The Client is for the boardwalk this summer, and the other for Sara's birthday (more about her book and birthday in the soon-to-be "30 Dollar Birthday Party Challenge" post).  But until her party this weekend, we have to keep it a secret. (shhhhhhh)

And the make-up....
(isn't the vintage stationary box pretty?)

MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and more.  In our budget, high end make-up (as in higher than a walmart or a few drug store priced cosmetics on amazon) is a no way Jose. All of this (including compact above) was 5All new, not a smudge on any of the surfaces.  

My best guess is the packaging was discontinued, and the make-up donated by a department store employee, since each can be bought online with new packaging.
Online price for all....
min. $160.00!!! woah. 

Here is a vintage desk chair perfect for
Sara's room make-over.  It was 10.
It will match her horse who is still dressed up as Santa
(see him in Cherry Red Sunday post here).
Stuffed Armadillo was won last Christmas during one of those "fight over gifts being passed around" games. He may be a dog toy.  (he is.  and makes awful noises when squeezed.)

He usually sits with the throw pillows on our bed, but comes downstairs on occasion.  He wanted to try out the new old chair and red lipstick.  He gets so frustrated, because his arms are too short to do much of anything really. I didn't want him wearing red lipstick anyway.

Typically (as in ever), I am not a red lipstick wearer.  Red gloss sometimes. But this one is actually pretty fantastic (it has a royal, purplish blue case with a crown embossed on it!, feels good, stays moist, doesn't smell yucky like some lipsticks, and is a very nice red).  

And yet there is a problem between me and red lipstick.

red lipstick, no teeth showing

red lipstick, teeth showing
Doesn't it make my teeth look yellowish? Also it would probably get all smeared up underneath my nose.  like a milk mustache, only red lipstick.

And yet.

A girl never knows when she might need red lipstick. Say, for example, when husband Dion dresses up like a woman.
 this happened.  more than once.
Okay. so maybe only when it's for good causes and stuff like that. but still.?!

Be like me and get your armadillo here.  (this one doesn't make crazy noises...just a nice, plush armadillo) 

There's more! Thrift Store Finds and an Armadillo, Part 2 coming soon. And I'm working on a small gift.

What are a few of your thriftiest finds?

How are you making your today world beautiful?
(talk to me)

if you liked this story, will you please share it with a friend? or all of them? do you have many friends? if not would you consider sharing it with a stranger? How about lots of strangers? If you didn't like this story, would you still consider sharing? friends or strangers...either one really.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Candle and A Pot

Last week was mother's day.  How was that for you?
It's not good for everyone is it?  
I got presents.  Sure, it was me who made the somewhat strong suggestion to stop by TJ Maxx...and then continued to pick them out myself.  But.  I got presents. How one gets presents is neither here nor there.

Happy perfect mother's day presents to me.

The fancy candle is from Siri and lovely pot from Sara.  I was given a 10 dollar limit ten dollars. But when husband Dion recognized the difficulty of choosing between these two perfect presents, permission was swiftly granted for both.  

The candle was 7 dollars, and the pot was 6.  I would not buy a candle for myself for 7 dollars.  It's going to be reserved for specialness.  Then, when it's all used up, the remaining glass will be become a useful, something shiny.

Its scent is tobacco and something else.  Who knew? So if husband Dion smoked a pipe, he would smell like this
(and maybe whatever the something else is; I just don't remember what it is).

For my other present, they committed to hanging out with me while I worked on projects.   I chose the little garden project Sara and I have started.

Typically husband Dion doesn't stay nearby
while a project is underway. (It's possible he runs the other way.)
He also doesn't work on Sundays.  So he did this.

He's playing poker.  I guess there isn't a problem gambling on Sundays.  If smoking a pipe, he would look like this.
(Why smoking a pipe would make him think so lovingly of me,
I don't know; it just seems right.)

Sara helped by doing this.
Then she ran away with my camera, and took this
fantastic photo, which I now consider another
happy mother's day present to me.
(the photo.  not the mushrooms.  But you are also nice mushrooms.)

Siri took a nap inside.
(not documented)
Kitty did this.
 Then this.

I enjoyed this.
But what really made my day beautiful was...

it ended like this.

How are you making
your today world beautiful?

(please talk to me in the comments below. don't make me beg.)

**I can hardly wait to unveil yesterday's thrift store findings.  coming soon!**

if you liked this story, will you please share it with a friend? or all of them? do you have many friends? if not would you consider sharing it with a stranger? How about lots of strangers? If you didn't like this story, would you still consider sharing? friends or strangers...either one really.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Turn This into That: the one dollar (and ten cents tax) boy

Welcome to the very first storybook cottage
"Turn This into That" post
...where I attempt to use magical powers to turn something into a different something.  So if you like this kind of thing,
check back for future somethings
turned into different somethings.

Once upon a time there were a whole lot of girl barbies.

and one ken.

Here they are, up late on Thanksgiving night, decorating the ballroom for Christmas...while Sara was sound asleep.
 In our defense, we've bought maybe two barbies.
Neither of the two was ken, so they shouldn't 
be multiplying this quickly.

Ken is happy about this arrangement, being the only guy. But at the same time, it has to be somewhat stressful.
I like to think of him as
("Sir Galahad! You would not be so ungallant
as to refuse our hospitality.")

She also has three little girls.   zero boys.  

So this past Saturday we were
window shopping at ebay for boy
dolls, when I had an idea.
 "Ah ha!" I said,
"The Dollar General sells little girl
princesses for one dollar, and ten cents tax.

Off we went to buy her.
 I could hardly wait for the magic to begin.

First her ponytail came out.

Second, I got creeped out.

you can too.

Then I cut her hair, and superglued it 
back on, starting from the bottom up,
covering the glue as I went.
equally disturbing.
(I dare you to pin it.)

There wasn't quite enough hair, leaving some
exposed, dry glue residue at the top.
So I took a brown sharpie to it.
If sharpies teamed up with duct tape,
there's an 86 percent chance they could
accomplish a pretty great something.
at least win bingo.

Then I brushed this paint 
over the eye make-up. 
(any light color could work)

Now she was a boy.  a naked boy.  

I'm not a seamstress.  I do simple sewing, but
making teeny, tiny shirts is out.
Having a naked kid lying around,
also not acceptable.
So he will like swimming...all the time. 
And he will like swimming in jams.

I took apart one of these for swim fabric.
from the Dollar Tree.
These were in my craft closet; they're the right size for
beach balls in barbie's pool.

Hopefully by winter this kid can find
himself a sweater and pants,
or a warmer climate.

Now for his before and after.

Introducing Alex...
  Once an ordinary, dollar store princess, he's now a nice, young boy BROTHER, with somewhat feminine eyes, who will make trouble for his sisters in the barbie house.  (It has been made clear to Sara that he was not
created for boyfriendship.)
Here he's swimming with his sister.
She stole his dress and shoes.
(it may have been Sara who stole them)
After cooling off, he wanted to play mini-golf.  I reminded him to wear sunscreen.  But he just said, "yeah, yeah, yeah."

"Okay," I said.  "Live and learn," I said,
"Live and learn." You know, sometimes when we want "that", but can't have it, we shut off our brain in defeat...pretty much making it a for sure no.  But if we can creatively pursue paths that
open ourselves to possibility, while accepting the "this" in front of us...
maybe we'll discover an effective way
to turn our this into that.

Sure, there are times no substitute will do, but sometimes, not always, but sometimes, the substitute ends up being better than what we thought we wanted.  right?  yup.  maybe not so much with brother Alex here; he's a good enough substitute.  but sometimes.

How are you making your 
today world beautiful?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Once Upon a Friday Afternoon Hammer...somewhat of a guide to man yard sale-ing

Once upon a week ago, on a Friday afternoon, I did the usual routine of picking the girls up after school, when....

da da da duuuummmm.


Have you seen the bumper stickers saying "I BRAKE FOR YARD SALES"?

I don't have one of those.  and I don't brake for yard sales.  But I DO turn around for yard sales.


I've gotten better at ignoring them.  But they sure do taunt me as I drive by.  They have a taunting nature in general.  Their balloons fly around in my rear view mirror, saying things like, "I had the world's best and cheapest treasure and you don't have time for me?!"  They all think they have the world's best treasure. 
 At this particular Friday afternoon yard sale, there were a bunch of guys standing around with a bunch of tools.  This kind used to be an easy pass by.  But now that I'm an empowered woman,  

 I need those tools.

And so, with the girls getting older, I occasionally find it acceptable to pull over and say something like, "okay.  Stay right here. I won't be long." and "Hey look over there! There are goats on the roof!" 

Both are true. I won't be long. And there really were goats on the roof.  

Yes, I can go through other people's junk like nobody's business.

Every once in awhile, I might give a thing a good 3 minutes to try to convince me of its magical know, the ability to turn from what may seem (to the untrained eye) as total junk, into an object of somethingness  (usefulness, beautifulness, ability to make a person fill up with happiness...fill in the blank), and therefore worthy of my great affection, as well as a dollar or two from a to-be-determined line item in our budget.

This was one of those items:


Now I don't know about you, but if I find a Friday Afternoon Hammer on a FRIDAY AFTERNOON, it is to be considered as divine interruption, and it must be mine. Plus it says right on the box that it's a "tool box must have".  so.  

Clearly marked on painter's tape, this guy was asking 5 dollars. The thing about guys at yard sales is they tend to either overprice, or pretty much give the stuff away. 

Here are two simple, junk truth equations that apply to man yard sale-ing:

1.  A man's stuff (the things he owns) = OVERPRICED

2.  A man's wife's stuff, girlfriend's stuff, mother's stuff, kid's stuff, (pretty much anything that did not previously belong to the man, unless it's a gifted sweater or a tie) = PLEASE TAKE THIS OUT OF MY GARAGE!

This was not the get it out of my garage type of man sale.  And so I polished up my feminine yard sale graces and made an offer (in question form...I especially use questions when bargaining with a man), with my cash in hand. 

Think "with a man, cash in hand".
I offered 3, and then happily walked away with my meant-to-be Friday Afternoon Hammer.  

Not only is this little tool efficient with its bottle opening, ice crushing capabilities, it is also witty.  The box says things like, "warning: may cause pounding headache" and "warning: may cause neighbors to swing by".

Despite its bad sense of humor, this hammer will prove useful for doll house projects. If you also need a Friday Afternoon Hammer with a bad sense of humor on this Friday afternoon, this one is on sale.

How are you making your today world beautiful?

and maybe more importantly...

What has been your latest and greatest 
yard sale find?  

(Please share both with me in the comments below.)

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Pinterest "pin me" image:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Barbie's Kitchen Trim Complete, A Wedding Eve, and Other Projects

Barbie's kitchen trim wasn't completely dry today (no more Bob Ross bargain paints for doll house projects), but dry enough to hang.

            ...promised photo
Cinderella barbie was just sitting here on these two chairs, chilling out in her boots. Her dining room table was missing.  It was in the ballroom set up like this.
(How does she keep her figure?)
Sara then said that tomorrow is Ken and Teresa's big wedding day. They've been sitting downstairs beside husband Dion's desk for the past week. Maybe they chose him for their premarital counseling? So I guess Barbie pink dress, above, set up the goodies for the party.

I gave Cinderella barbie a lollipop to keep her busy in the meantime.  It's doubtful she got an invite to the ball.  (see what I did there?)   

Here are pics of the bar lights when on.
Aren't they great?!
  These little girls are playing in the kitchen.  I don't think that brown-haired girl should be in the sink.  Get out of the sink little girl. The blond one (I get their names mixed up...Gabbi and Abby; they're twins)..well, she's having fun with their play kitchen.  That's a better idea than being in a sink.  It's nice how they can pretend cook while the women and one Ken of the house
for real pretend cook.

Also began working on the barbie house garage and finished the back part of Sara's castle bed...both made from painted cardboard, leftovers from her birthday party castle two years ago.  Here are those unfinished projects so far...
(eventually the plan is to install a working security system-and make it prettier)

 (the back part, against the wall was today...the front is plywood with cardboard window accents...needs door, sides, and rock-climbing wall)
The neighbor girls were over for a short, after-school visit.  The oldest ran back to their house to get her camera, and took a whole lot of pictures.  sweet.  The little one pulled out every toy possible in 45 minutes, chattering random things while I tried figuring out the garage.  I'm notsogood at question-answering while making stuff, but she sure is a cutie.

How are you making your today world beautiful?
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